Well, Alana woke up this morning with a bald spot in the middle of the back of her head. I noticed it when parting her hair for pigtails and I'm 100% sure it wasn't there on Tuesday, the last time she wore pigtails. It is about the size of a penny with no signs or irritation. It doesn't hurt and it doesn't itch.
Because she had some suspicious looking bruises on her legs too I decided to take her to the Pedi this afternoon. She took a swab of the area to be sent off for testing but is treating her for ringworm of the scalp in the meantime (it takes 4 weeks to get the results back). She didn't say much about the bruises.
My gut tells me this isn't ringworm and even the doc said she was only about 70% sure that's what it was. Just wondering if anyone else's kiddo has had this and what it looked like. Also, how was it treated?
I had ringworm as a teenager... I had a patch on my arm and one on the back of my neck. At that time the doctor gave me a prescription for an anti-fungal cream (which stained clothing it came into contact with!) to use as well as some oral anti-fungal medication (don't recall what now). There was a round red spot with a white centre... just like a ring. I don't remember if it was itchy/etc or how much so though.
I had a student with ringworm on his body and scalp and it looked nothing like this. Though I admit, his parents refused to treat it and I caught this very early. But he had flaking and crusting on his scalp several weeks before he actually started to lose hair. Her scalp is very clean and smooth. There's nothing out of the ordinary except the bald spots.
I checked her head this morning and she has another smaller patch missing, about the size of a pencil eraser. The larger patch has become slightly larger and it is now noticeable with her hair down. I'll keep her hair in a ponytail so no one notices because she has enough self-confidence issues as it is. She claims that her body is itchy but I don't see anything. I'm hoping she isn't having a reaction to the medicine!
I've only ever seen ringworm on the skin. I actually have a patch of it on my neck right now, and it's itchy. Not like poison ivy, but maybe like an allergic rash? Kind of itches every once in awhile, but not constantly. Isaiah gets ringworm frequently; it seems to be related to when his immune system is challenged.
I just looked it up, and scalp ringworm is caused by a different organism than the skin one. It can be worse in children with compromised immune systems. Typical symptoms include redness, scaling, crusting and usually intense itching.
Look up Alopecia Areata. If they are smooth round patches of skin without any itching, this might be what she has.
Her immunse system is compromised because of the other medications she is on. She is on a very strong dose of Advair which makes her body more susceptible to infections and I suppose ringworm too. That's probably one of the reasons the doctor assumed it was ringworm. It just doesn't look like ringworm to me......
I checked her head again this morning and luckily there are no new spots. She is still complaining that her whole body itches but I don't see anything.
I actually looked up the alopecia areata before the doctor visit and that's what I was leaning towards. Ringworm never crossed my mind.
If it's smooth like you say and not crusty or itchy, I'd say it sounds more like the descriptions of alopecia areata than ringworm. Just curious, what did your doctor want to treat her with for ringworm?
It is an oral medication that starts with a G (can't remember the name). She has to take it with a meal for 6 weeks.
DD had ringworm on her butt around a year or so. She picked it up at daycare. It was a round patch with a red, scaly raised border and kind of a bullseye look to it. She was too young for oral meds so she was on an antifungal cream for what seemed like ages. It eventually went away.
I had alopecia areata when I was about 11/12 or so. My hair fell out in a patch about the size of a nickel right on my crown. It didn't itch and wasn't red or scaly at all. The dermatologist wanted to inject my scalp with steroids but I refused. I had topical ointment to use but don't know if it did a darned thing. Eventually (maybe after a couple years) it grew back and I haven't had any problems since. My dad also has alopecia - a couple little bald spots behind his ear. They say it's an autoimmune thing but could also have a genetic factor, and may be triggered by an illness, trauma or stressful event. The diagnosis is made from clinical findings. There's no test for it.
Apparently topical ointments won't cure tinnea capitis (ringworm of the scalp) because the fungus is actually under the skin (according to the Pedi). Oral medication is really the only form of treatment. She says the medicine tastes yucky but she is really good about taking it. I also bought some tea tree oil and put it on her scalp tonight. Apparently it is an anti-fungal and is supposed to be good for the scalp anyway. From what I hear ringworm is very hard to get rid of so I'm not taking any chances!
If she does have alopecia areata I won't treat it unless it becomes more severe. I worry about her self-esteem because kids can be so cruel. I did read that it is an autoimmune disease and is more common in kids with asthma. No one in our family has it, but hearing about others that do makes it seem much less scary and more normal.